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Don’t Hold Your Breath! - Patients leaving hospital after abdominal surgery are often advised not to lift anything heavy.  This note explains why, and points out that the warning refers to any form of straining, not just lifting.  It also introduces the Grunt Rule, which could help a patient to avoid the risk of a hernia.

Don’t Give Yourself a Hernia - Ten tips for avoiding a parastomal hernia

A Summer Weather Problem  - Many readers will no doubt be enjoying summer weather, but some may be experiencing problems with their stoma, which may be continually discharging pellets of faeces, even though they irrigate.  My own graphical description of the effect is that the stoma thinks it’s a rabbit, albeit that the pellets are somewhat larger.  I used to suffer from this problem when I went on holiday to somewhere warm, like Tunisia or the Canary Islands, and I used to blame it on the change of food.  This excuse was demolished when I experienced a hot summer in England.  I couldn’t blame it on the food, which hadn’t changed, and I realized that it was the change of temperature that was causing the problem.  I had not increased my water intake, and I was becoming dehydrated.  One function of the colon is to recycle water which would otherwise be expelled as faeces, and this results in there being more solid matter in the colon, which is expelled by the normal peristaltic action.

The solution to the problem is to drink more water.  When the temperature reaches 30°C, the classic recommendation of 2 litres a day is no longer adequate if you are at all active, and your target should probably be more like 3 litres.  However tempted you may be, iced water is not the best solution, because it is not absorbed as rapidly as water at room temperature.  If you can’t bear the taste of ordinary water, add a little lemon juice, PLJ in the U.K., or Pulco Citron Vert in France, for example.  Again, do not try to quaff a whole glass at a time, because that will effectively reduce your intake.  My own recommendation is for four gulps at a time, which will not leave you feeling full, and not wanting any more.  Enjoy the summer!

Nutrition Notes - Intended to supplement the excellent Colostomy Association leaflet entitled Healthy Eating, which is available for download on the C A Publications page, they are more a series of disconnected jottings than a logically developed account, but it is hoped that nevertheless some useful ideas will be found in them.

Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer - A link to a massive (537 page) report produced jointly by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research covering a huge range of topics, and which demonstrates the importance of a good diet and adequate exercise, particularly in relation to colon cancer. Not for downloading!

Ostomates Moving to France - Anyone moving from the UK to France has a number of bureaucratic hurdles to negotiate, but an ostomate will have some which are related to any long-standing medical condition.  These notes should enable the expatriate ostomate to avoid unpleasant surprises, and includes helpful information about some little-known potential electrical problems.  I have of necessity been unable to cover all the relevant details pertaining to the French health service, but you can download here the official comprehensive French statement Le Guide de l’Assuré” covering all situations.  It is in French, but that should constitute some useful practice.


Cookery Corner

A short selection of straightforward recipes, all having the theme of healthy eating, and requiring minimal preparation time.

Salmon with Shallot and Basil Sauce - Adrian’s favourite fish dish.

Lemon Chicken - A modern version of an Italian classic, requiring little preparation or attention during cooking, and as near fat free as you can get.

Instant Spaghetti Bolognese - When you have a really urgent need to provide a nourishing meal, try this. The recipe warns that the first thing to do is to put a plate to warm, or it will still be cold when you are ready to dish up!

Home Made Muesli - A healthy breakfast cereal containing minimal fat and added sugar.

Adrian’s Salad - An easily prepared salad incorporating a variety of flavours, colours and textures.

Keeping and Cooking Broccoli - If you want to be able to serve the broccoli you bought last week, in perfect condition, try these suggestions.

A Cheese Sauce for Steak - It was an assistant at the cheese counter in a French hypermarket, with whom I was discussing the rump steak that I had just bought, who suggested that I might like to try a Saint Agur sauce with it. I tried it, I liked it, so here is the very simple recipe that I contrived.

Stuffed Chicken Breast - For those still at the white meat stage, but who are contemplating something with a little more “oomph”, this represents another use for my favourite Saint Agur cheese.  And since Saint Agur is one of the few blue cheeses that really enhances a red wine, this may be an opportunity to enjoy a red wine again if, like me, you lost your taste for it after an APR.

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